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Robbie Robertson is dead. The musician was 80 years old

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Robbie Robertson, the guitarist and main songwriter of The Band, a Canadian-American group known for songs such as “The Weight” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”, has died at the age of 80, his manager said.

Robbie Robertson, who left his home in Toronto at the age of 16 to pursue his rock ‘n’ roll dreams, died Wednesday in Los Angeles after a long illness, the musician’s manager of 34 years, Jared Levine, said in a statement.

“Robbie was surrounded by his family at the time of his death,” the statement added.

Robbie RobertsonMichael Ochs Archives

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The Band consisted of four Canadians – Robertson, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel – and was backed by Arkansas drummer Levon Helm. In the 1960s, the band collaborated with Bob Dylan, among others.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, The Band musicians became one of rock’s most respected groups. The band’s most famous songs are “The Weight” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”. Their farewell concert in San Francisco in 1976 was the basis for Martin Scorsese’s 1978 film The Last Waltz.

In 2015, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Robertson 59th on its list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists”. His unique style can be heard on the band’s songs “Jawbone” and “Smoke Signal”.

In February 2022, Variety reported, citing sources, that Robertson had sold his catalog of music releases to a company called Iconoclast for approximately $25 million.

Main photo source: Michael Ochs Archives

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